The Supply and Demand for Data Privacy: Evidence from Mobile Apps

This paper investigates how consumers and investors react to the standardized disclosure of data privacy practices. Since December 2020, Apple has required all apps to disclose their data collection practices by filling out privacy "nutrition" labels that are standardized and easy-to-read. The authors web-scrape these privacy labels and first document several stylized facts regarding the supply of privacy. Second, augmenting privacy labels with weekly app downloads and revenues, the authors examine how this disclosure affects consumer behavior. The authors exploit the staggered release of privacy labels and use the nonexposed Android version of each app to construct the counterfactual. After privacy label release, an average iOS app experiences a 14% (15%) drop in weekly downloads (revenues) when compared to its Android counterpart, with an even stronger effect for more privacy-invasive and substitutable apps. Consumers in the US, UK, and France respond more negatively, suggesting that they are most averse to data collection. Moreover, the authors observe adverse stock market reactions, especially among firms that harvest more data, corroborating the findings on product markets. Their findings highlight data as a key asset for firms in the digital era.


Session Chair: Yi HUANG
Professor of Finance, Fudan University and Fellow of ABFER

10:00 am
The Supply and Demand for Data Privacy: Evidence from Mobile Apps

Huan TANG, Assistant Professor of Finance, Department of Finance, London School of Economics and Political Science

Bo BIAN, Assistant Professor in Finance, UBC Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia
Xinchen MA, PhD candidate in Finance, Department of Finance, London School of Economics and Political Science
10:25 am
Ginger Zhe JIN, Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, University of Maryland
10:50 am
11:10 am

Updated 17 Jan 2023


  • Huan TANG

    Huan TANG


    Assistant Professor of Finance, Department of Finance, London School of Economics and Political Science

    Huan TANG is an assistant professor of finance at the London School of Economics. Her areas of expertise are FinTech, banking, and digital economy. In her recent work, she combines novel data and theory-motivated empirical approach to understand the benefits and costs of FinTech innovations for households and firms. She also studies data privacy issues brought about by the digital economy.

    Huan Tang received a PhD in Finance in 2020 from HEC Paris. She is the recipient of the 2020 AQR Top Finance Graduate Award. Her research has been published in top academic journals such as the Review of Financial Studies and Journal of Financial Economics.

  • Ginger Zhe JIN

    Ginger Zhe JIN


    Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, University of Maryland

    Ginger Zhe JIN is currently Professor of Economics at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is also the ADVANCE Professor of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University since September 2021. In 2015-2017, she was on leave at the Federal Trade Commission, serving as the Director of the FTC Bureau of Economics from January 2016 to July 2017. From January 2019 to May 2020, she was on leave at Amazon.com as Amazon Scholar and Senior Principal Economist.

    Most of her research focuses on information asymmetry among economic agents and how to provide information to overcome the information problem. The applications she has studied include retail food safety, health insurance, prescription drugs, e-commerce, regulatory inspection, scientific innovation, air quality, blood donation, vaccination, intrafamilial interaction, data regulation, and consumer protection. Her research has been published in leading economics, management and marketing journals, with support from the National Science Foundation, the Net Institute, and the Sloan Foundation. Many of her works have been covered by major media outlets including Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Forbes, Bloomberg, and Los Angeles Times.

    She is currently co-editor of Journal of Economics and Management Strategy, associate editor of RAND Journal of Economics, advisory council member of Journal of Industrial Economics, and board member of Industrial Organization Society. She has been Research Associate of NBER since 2012.

    In October 2014, she co-founded Hazel Analytics, an analytics company that promotes the use of open government data.

    She received her PhD in Economics from UCLA in 2000.

  • Yi HUANG

    Yi HUANG


    Professor of Finance, Fanhai International School of Finance, Fudan University and Fellow of ABFER

    Prof. Huang was Pictet Chair in Finance and Development at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. He was an economist in the Research Department of the IMF and a research associate of Globalization and Monetary Policy Institution in the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. He also has been a visiting PhD student at the UC-Berkeley and a research fellow at the Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research as well as the visiting positions at the London Business School, MIT Sloan School of Management.

    Prof. Huang also serves at the Council on Global Economic Imbalances at the World Economic Forum. Professor Huang's research consists of international macro and finance; labor-macro-Finance and Fintech and Entrepreneurship. His recent research focuses on the influence of corporation’s financing and investment to financial market and labor market.

    Professor Huang gained his Master's degree from the China Center for Economics Research, Peking University, and his PhD in International Macroeconomic and Finance from the London Business School.

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